Monthly markets review - August 2017
A review of markets in August 2017 when economic data was largely positive and emerging market equities outperformed.
- The MSCI World index eked out a positive return in August. Escalating US-North Korea tensions and Hurricane Harvey’s Texas landfall weighed on sentiment but economic data remained largely positive.
- US equities were supported by generally positive economic data, including an upward revision to second quarter GDP growth. However, the energy sector performed poorly in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
- Eurozone equities declined and the stronger euro was a headwind. The euro’s gains came as domestic economic indicators remained robust.
- UK shares gained with some less economically-sensitive sectors performing well while the mining sector was lifted by a stronger backdrop for industrial metals prices.
- Japanese equities posted only a small decline as a positive corporate earnings season helped offset worries about North Korea and a stronger yen.
- Emerging market equities outperformed developed markets. Higher commodity prices supported stockmarkets in Latin America.
- North Korea-related concerns contributed to government bond yields declining. Speeches from central bank chiefs Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi at the Jackson Hole symposium were notable for their lack of hawkish sentiment.